Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Memoir of Jane Austen (by James Edward Austen-Leigh): Preface


The Memoir of my Aunt, Jane Austen, has been received with more favour than I had ventured to expect.  The notices taken of it in the periodical press, as well as letters addressed to me by many with whom I am not personally acquainted, show that an unabated interest is still taken in every particular that can be told about her.  I am thus encouraged not only to offer a Second Edition of the Memoir, but also to enlarge it with some additional matter which I might have scrupled to intrude on the public if they had not thus seemed to call for it.  In the present Edition, the narrative is somewhat enlarged, and a few more letters are added; with a short specimen of her childish stories.  The cancelled chapter of ‘Persuasion’ is given, in compliance with wishes both publicly and privately expressed.  A fragment of a story entitled ‘The Watsons’ is printed; and extracts are given from a novel which she had begun a few months before her death; but the chief addition is a short tale never before published, called ‘Lady Susan.’ {0a}  I regret that the little which I have been able to add could not appear in my First Edition; as much of it was either unknown to me, or not at my command, when I first published; and I hope that I may claim some indulgent allowance for the difficulty of recovering little facts and feelings which had been merged half a century deep in oblivion.



November 17, 1870.



NOTES.



{0a}  The Watsons and Lady Susan are not included in this reprint.

1 comment:

Doda said...

Thanks for writing this.